Albanian authorities have confirmed that Harun Çelik, 41, a Turkish teacher who has been seeking protection in Albania for over five months, was deported to Turkey early on January 2.
According to the Bold Media, Çelik fled Turkey after a coup attempt in 2016 and is belived to be deported by Albanian authorities upon a request by the Turkish government over his alleged links to Turkey’ Gülen group.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government have been pursuing a crackdown on the Gülen group since a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016.
The group is accused of masterminding the attempt, a claim rejected by its leader, Fethullah Gülen.
Çelik applied for refugee status in Albania over 6 months ago and reportedly spent five months in an Albanian prison. He was released by a judge on January 1; however, police reportedly re-detained him the moment he left the courthouse. He was immediately taken to the Rinas International Airport and deported to Turkey a day later.